Wednesday, January 22, 2014

defense contracts and local jobs

For decades, defense contractors -- especially for big ticket items like aircraft --have bragged that their programs create jobs throughout the country. The B-1 bomber had subcontracts in 48 states, the F-22 fighter in 44, the F-35 fighter in 46.  Those facts helped build strong and widespread support for the programs, despite ever-rising costs.

Now a think tank report says that the claims, at least for Lockheed Martin's F-35, are greatly exaggerated.
Instead of the claimed 125,000 jobs, the Center for International Policy says the real figure is only 50-60,000.

The report also says that there are hardly any jobs in many of the states:
...Eleven states have fewer than a dozen F-35-related jobs, a figure so low that it is a serious stretch to count them among the 46 states doing significant work on the program. These states are Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Delaware, Nebraska, North Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana and Wyoming."
It's always a good idea to take contractor estimates with several grains of salt.

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